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In "To Kill a Mockingbird," how does Jem compare to Scout in terms of...

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blackwhirls | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 20, 2008 at 6:24 PM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird," how does Jem compare to Scout in terms of character?

I have to find points ONLY from chapter 6 and 7. Please do provide Point, Explanation and Elaboration. Thanks much!

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 20, 2008 at 10:51 PM (Answer #1)

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Jem's maturity and control of emotion, as well as his sense of reasoning, separate Jem and Scout in these two chapters.

Jem is the brave and reasonable one after Dill, Scout, and Jem go to the Radley house. Jem loses his pants on the fence while fleeing the house. He has to face his fears and retrieve his pants. Scout cannot understand why he would do that, and it causes a split between them. Jem realizes that fear is less important to him than losing Atticus's respect.

In chapter seven, Jem's maturity and reason are still evident. While Scout wonders about the filling of the knothole, she does not reflect on the implications. Jem, however, withdraws as he contemplates the action. The loss of communication with Boo overwhelms him. He cries when he is alone. For Jem, Boo is no longer a "thing", but a person. Scout has not reached this point yet. Jem shows his maturity with his decision to ask Nathan Radley directly. Scout would never approach an adult and demand answers.

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lax170 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted March 21, 2008 at 10:54 PM (Answer #2)

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They both are very ambicious!

but I'd go with Scout!

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 22, 2008 at 3:40 AM (Answer #3)

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Jem makes a valuable and emotional discovery when he returns to get his pants. He expects to find a cruel "monster," but instead he finds his pants have been mended and are folded. It is as if someone expected him to return. As he approaches adolescence, Jem becomes quieter and more easily agitated. The narrator of the novel, Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is almost six years old at the time her story begins. A tomboy most frequently clad in overalls, Scout spends much of her time with her older brother Jem and is constantly trying to prove herself his equal. Throughout the book Scout maintains an innocence and an innate sense of right and wrong that makes her the ideal observer of events, even if she doesn't always fully understand them. She naturally questions the injustices she sees instead of accepting them as "the way things are." 

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